A second-team All-State defensive lineman as chosen by USA TODAY (after being named the Crestview League Defensive Player of the Year and a Third-Team All-State Junior on the defensive side of the ball by Cal-Hi Sports the year before), Chris Yaghi is an underrated piece that Cal very much needed, along with Russell Becker and Tevin Paul.
“It’s been my dream school, so right when I got the offer, I wanted to commit,” Yaghi says.
Yaghi – whose father, brother and cousin are all civil engineers – says that it was the top-three nationally-ranked engineering program at Berkeley that drew him in, as much as the football.
With the Bears losing veteran defensive tackles Mustafa Jalil, Trevor Kelly and David Davis, bringing in a broad, athletic and powerful player like Yaghi, who's a bruising fullback when he's not a defensive tackle, is a big win for the staff's scouting accumen. Having seen Yaghi at camp, in person, he's got a frame that's already big, but can get much bigger, and he's got a very broad, powerful chest and long arms. He's a bit stiff in the hips and his footwork needs to quicken up and be more precise, but he's got a lot of very intriguing physical tools.
Definitely a guy who can develop, but will need a year to perhaps redshirt. That said, he's already very physically mature, at 6-foot-5, 270 pounds, and he doesn't have much bad weight on him, if at all. He's not a slow, plodding block eater. He's a dynamic, at times explosive and athletic run-stuffer and a fiend on special teams.